March 4, 2011
HONOLULU, HI - Sophomore Banna Diop led the Aggies, tying her career-high 22 points and adding 11 rebounds for a double-double but it would not be enough for USU to overtake Hawai'i's second-half perimeter shooting as Utah State fell in overtime, 72-71, to the Rainbow Wahine on senior night in Honolulu, HI.
Diop's 22 points led all scorers. Junior Ashlee Brown added 17 points in the game and eight rebounds to go with six assists. Senior Alice Coddington and sophomores Devyn Christensen and Jenna Joshnson all added six points on the night. Leading UH was Kamilah Jackson with a double-double including 21 points and 19 rebounds. Keisha Kanekoa and Megan Tinnin added 16 points and 18 points, respectively.
Utah State is 15-13 overall and 9-6 in Western Athletic Conference action. Hawai'i improved to 11-18 and 5-11 in the WAC.
The Aggies began with the first 11 points of the game, highlighted by the first three-point basket of the night from sophomore Devyn Christenesen. The Rainbow Wahine's senior night got off to a rocky start being down by as much as 21 points in the first half. Kaneohe, Hawai'i native and sophomore Pualei Frutado sunk a three-point basket with 4:48 remaining in the half to put USU up 34-15. The other Aggie that hails from Hawai'i, freshman Kamie Imai (Pahoa, Hawai'i), also checked-in during the first half and added an assist for USU.
Utah State forced 17 turnovers in the first half alone and nabbed 23 of its 41 first-half points off of UH turnovers. Hawaii crashed the boards earning eight second-chance points in the first 20 minutes of action, foreshadowing what became a Ranbiow Wahine offensively-aggressive second half.
Coming back from the locker room Utah State held the Rainbow Wahine to just four points in the first five minutes of the second half. The Rainbow Wahine shifted the momentum with a three-point bucket by Kanekoa, followed by a three-point basket from Tinnin beginning a 14-4 run by UH.
The Aggies lead by double digits until the seven minute mark when Kanekoa sunk a pair of free throws to bring the Hawai'i with in 8 points at 60-52. The Rainbow Wahine continued their climb and Breanna Arbuckle made a three-point basket to for the first tie of the game at 63-63 with 2:45 remaining.
Hawai'i took its first lead of the game with a three-pointer from Tinnin at the 2:08 mark. Utah State responded with a jumper from Diop at the top of the key with 1:47 remaining. USU made three more free throws. Diop blocked Kamilah Jackson's final jumper attempt to win the game, leaving the score tied at 68-68 headed into overtime.
USU began overtime with a pair of made free throws by Coddington. Both the Aggies and the Rainbow Wahine missed back-to-back jumpers. Brown sunk a free-throw with 4:06 left, putting the Aggies up by three, 71-68. Jackson made a layup against tough defense from Brown, to put Hawai'i with in one with only 38 seconds left. Kanekoa missed a jumper for Hawai'i with one second left.
Jackson took the UH rebound and Coddington was called for a foul on the rebound with .03 left in overtime. The call was reviewed by officials and ruled in favor or Hawai'i sending Jackson to the line. Jackson suck the first toss at the charity stripe, tying the game at 71-71, when the Utah State bench called for a time out. Jackson retuned to the free-throw line and sunk the second free throw putting the Rainbow Wahine up, 72-71. Brown inbounded the ball with .03 left in the game and Coddington attempted a three-quarters shot but it landed short of the rim, along with the Aggies shot at the win in the tough Stan Sherriff Center. The final score was 72-71 in favor of Hawai'i.
For the game, Utah State shot 40.3 percent (27-of-67) from the field and added 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point range, all of which came in the first half. The Aggies went 13-of-21 (61.0 percent) from the free-throw line. Hawai'i shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the field and 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from three-point range, six during the second half alone. UH also added 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Aggies will conclude regular season action a San Jose State, March 5 at 8 p.m. MT. The Western Athletic Tournament will be held the The Orleans March 9-12 in Las Vegas, Nev.
To purchase tickets, or for more Aggie basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Ticket Office at 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305, in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or on-line 24 hours a day at www.utahstateaggies.com under the "tickets" drop down menu.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball and Coach Pebley on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UTAHSTATEofmind and Utah State Athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.
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